Lucid Dreaming - A dimension where you are the god
Who doesn’t want to have the ability to control the world? In dreams, we can. We are at one with everything, because we are everything.
(illustration: Sonny Choa)
‘But dreams aren’t real!’ comes the knee-jerk objection – a response that can only come from someone who hasn’t experienced a fully lucid dream. For lucid dreamers, a dream is simply a reality with different dimensions.
One in two people will experience at least one lucid dream in their lives. A lucid dream is a dream in which we are actively aware that we are dreaming while the dream is happening. This is a natural state to experience and is completely safe. We are still sound asleep and ‘unconscious’ – yet, internally, in our dreaming mind, it could be said that we are wide awake.
As Dutch psychiatrist, Frederik Willem Van Eeden, explained: ‘In lucid dreams, the sleeper remembers his daily life and reaches a state of perfect awareness… Yet the sleep is undisturbed, deep and refreshing’.
Beat the nightmare
Lucid dreaming is both magical and misunderstood in equal measure. It’s often associated with the feeling of experiencing something for the first time, seeing graphic situations, and sleep paralysis. However, bear in mind that nothing can actually harm you in a dream – and, for this reason, there’s nothing to fear. A nightmare can be the biggest obstacle to lucid dreaming; the fear and trauma created by a nightmare sometimes make us reluctant to go to sleep in the first place. But nightmare is a part of what makes us human and, according to Charlie Morley, author of Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming and Mindfulness of Dream and Sleep, lucid nightmares are opportunities. Since nightmares force us to go through simulated threatening events, so in the waking world (the reality when we are awake) we are more prepared to survive, because we have been trained for them in our dreams.
Personally, I enjoy having lucid nightmares, as I am fully aware that I am just dreaming and I can actually control my ability to run away within the dream. Imagine you were simply having a non-lucid nightmare: you would never know that you were dreaming, and you would have zero control: there would be nothing you could do.
It’s your fantasy
You can experience many different things in lucid dreaming. Whatever fantasy you choose, it’s there for you in the hyper-realistic dream world of lucid awareness. Do you fancy flying? Travelling? Being invisible? Having sex with your crush? Or even having crazy sexual orgies? Whatever you can think of, they feel as real as they would in the waking state. Have fun, but be aware that these fantasies must remain confined to your dream world: treat it as a sacred place in which to test out your imagination.
Communicate with our subconscious
There’s no denying that a lucid dream provides the ultimate playground for wish fulfilment. But lucid dreaming can also help us to communicate with our soul. Everything we have ever done, said, heard, smelled or seen is stored away in the subconscious. Our dreaming mind holds within it an unconscious wealth of information about our inner self. In a lucid dream, we are basically walking around our own psyche and interacting with aspects of our Self. It grants us permission to access the restricted sections of the unconscious and forgotten areas of our psyche, so that we can examine our inner thoughts as they present themselves through the dream scenario, and identify the patterns and loops. A very interesting way to understand the symbols is to literally approach people in your lucid dream and ask what they represent and what they want from you. Simply asking questions of your lucid dream figures can help you to gain amazing insights into your unconscious personality that can help shape the way you behave in everyday waking life. Dreaming is the most intimate relationship that we have with ourselves.
Do you remember the mind-blowing movie, Inception, screened in 2010 and starring Leonardo DiCaprio? In it, there was a group of special agents who could access people’s dreams and implant suggestions, in order to alter their waking consciousness. This idea is very powerful and the idea of self-incepting an idea into our dreaming mind can be very effective.
As Charlie Morley said: ‘A lucid dream is the ideal environment in which to self-incept’.
So, the next time you are lucid dreaming, try to change any negative patterns and self-incept new, better habits. For example, if your lifestyle is unhealthy, try to eat more greens and raw food, and do some exercise in your dream. Or interact with as many people as possible in your dreams if you are painfully shy in your waking state. Who knows? You may wake up to find you have become a different person. Sometimes we underestimate just how ready we are for change.